Punch-Card Loom
Etw industry textile punch-card loom
Prerequisite Flying Shuttle
Research Points Needed
Building Needed Water-Powered Cloth Mill
Leads To Power Loom
Stream Textile Industry, Industry
  • +15% Coin Bonus to town wealth from textile industry buildings
  • Enhances National Prestige

Punch-Card Loom is a Technology in Empire: Total War.


A loom that makes patterned materials thanks to a mechanism which follows instructions coded into a set of holed cards.

Patterns are created in woven cloth by lifting different warp threads as the shuttle passes through the loom. Even on a manual loom intricate designs can be created by lifting threads in the right order, but this relies on the skill of the weaver. The punch-card loom mechanizes the lifting of warp threads. A series of punch cards is drawn through the machine as the cloth is woven; each card has an intricate pattern of holes that allow levers to drop through as the card is "read." The lever trips a mechanism that raises the corresponding warp thread at the right time to create a pattern. Providing the cards are in the correct order and the holes are properly punched, the machine can dependably and repeatably produce any desired design with no need for a master weaver.

Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) is credited as the father of the punched card loom, although his work draws on machines that used a paper roll for the instructions. The loom cards are direct ancestors of the computer punched card, once the bane of every computer department!

Empire: Total War Technology
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